This is one of my all-time favourite books. Much loved and much read. I feel blessed to have found this beautifully illustrated book, featuring images penned by Tolkien himself.
Tolkien created this wonderful tale of a real dog named Rover who is turned into a toy dog, in the year 1925. He made up the story to console his young son Michael, after he lost his little toy dog on a beach.
The tale starts with Rover a very small and very young dog, playing happily in his garden with a little ball. He was so caught up in his game he took no notice of the old man, in a ragged coat wearing a green hat with a blue feather stuck in the back of it, coming up the path. If he had, he may have suspected the man was a wizard and he might not have been so very rude to him.
It is this rudeness that gets Rover turned into a little toy dog, who all day long has to sit up and beg. Only after midnight is he able to actually move about.
His first very unhappy experience, is finding himself in a toy box, then being priced up and put into a hot shop window to be sold. Once again if he had taken any notice of the little boy whom he was given to, he might not have found himself lost upon a beach.
On the beach Rover meets a sand-sorcerer. This magician listens to his story, feeds him up and asks if he would like to go home. However, he cannot turn Rover back into his normal size. Rover remembers his manners this time, and thanks the magician but says it is probably best if he doesn’t go home just yet.
With a full belly Rover falls asleep; he awakens to find a seagull awaiting him. This is Mew, and this is where the real adventures start.
Mew flies him across the night sky and they end up going to stay with ‘The- Man-in-the-Moon’ for a little while.
Eventually they return to earth and the sand-sorcerer sends Rover off on a new trip and adventure. This time with Uin a great whale who takes Rover under the sea to meet up with the wizard who turned him into a toy. Hopefully he can get the chance to apologise and ask to be returned to his normal form.
Such a magical story and Tolkien’s illustrations ‘The Lunar Landscape’ and ‘The Gardens of the Merking’s Palace’ simply serve to compliment it.
3 Rose Rating Very highly recommended read, for children from 8 to 80 and beyond.